VENTURES AFRICA – A report by GfK Retail and Technology Nigeria has shown the Nigerian market spent an average of 181 billion naira ($1.2 billion) to purchase 21.5 million mobile phones in 2012.
BusinessDay reported that the GfK data shows that of the 21.5 million mobile phones sold, smart phones account for about two to four percent of new phone sales, implying that Nigerians spent about 42 billion naira ($280 million) on smart phones and about 139 billion naira ($92.6 million) on regular phones in 2012.
The data however excludes sales of refurbished and used handsets imported into Nigeria.
According to the research, an average of 1.8 million mobile phones were sold every month. Kenneth Doghudje, Managing Director, GfK RT Nigeria, highlighted December, stating about 80,000 smartphones were sold in the month.
According to a World Bank report, about 60 percent of the Nigerian population is living below the $2 per day poverty mark, implying a number of the population would have to spending about 21 days of their feeding budget to acquire an average mobile phone of about 6, 750 naira ($43).
The research also reveals majority of Nigerians subscribe to more than one telecom provider using a dual sim phone or two mobile phones, due to the protracted unreliable network service of telecom providers in the country.
“Dual SIM phones made up 58 per cent of all new phones, or two out of every three phones sold in the Nigerian market. This translates to an average of over one million dual SIM handsets sold in the Nigerian market in a year.”
The dual SIM phone which initially was a low end product, was invented by the Chinese. The technology has been adopted by major phone manufacturers, due to the wide acceptance its enjoys in emerging markets like Africa.
Smart phones now come with dual SIM slots.
Last year, the newest addition to tech giant Samsung’s Galaxy smartphone lineup, Galaxy S Duos, was launched in Nigeria.
According to the GfK research “triple SIM phones are also beginning to make an inroads into the market as well, with the market showing potential for growth of phones with more than one SIM.”
“These trends are expected to continue in 2013 as most subscribers continue wanting to enjoy excellent service delivery and lower tariffs by using the different networks,” the report says.
However, Nigeria has initiated a number portability system that lets mobile phone users switch subscription from one telecom provider to another using the same phone number, at no additional cost. This may reduce the need to acquire an extra phone or line.
GfK Retail and Technology Nigeria is a subsidiary of world leading market research company GfK-Verien. GfK RT Nigeria tracks mobile phone sales across 40 different major cities in the country.